2014 Archive Stories

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  • Areas burned by Silverado Fire closed until 2015 BY CHRISTOPHER EARLEY
    Portions of the Cleveland National Forest scorched in last month’s Silverado Fire will be closed to visitors until September 2015, the U.S. Forest Service announced Friday. The temporary closure will allow vegetation in burned areas to regrow, stabilizing the region and reducing the chance of flash flooding and mudslides, authoriti
    Sat Oct 25, 2014
  • Reeves gets the action right BY COLIN COLVERT
    “John Wick” transforms the current zeal for hit-man movies into a mix of propulsive homicide and giddy farce. Keanu Reeves plays a retired killer who aimed for a new life with his new wife but whose plans faltered when Mrs. Wick died mid-romance. Then her parting gift to John, an adorable puppy, is the victim of an attack fro
    Sat Oct 25, 2014
  • Review: 2015 Kia Soul electric vehicle exceeds expectations in multiple areas BY SUSAN CARPENTER
    As Tesla grabs all the headlines for its sci-fi semi autonomy and regulatory battles and fluctuating stock prices, electric vehicles from other automakers have quietly proliferated. Plug-ins from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and now Kia have all whirred their way on to the market this year, bringing the number of mass-market EV options to an u
    Sat Oct 25, 2014
  • Bake it? Carve it? Paint it? There's a pumpkin for that BY MARLA JO FISHER
    Sad but true: Despite the nursery rhyme you memorized in childhood, Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater wouldn’t actually have been able to keep his wife in a pumpkin shell. That’s because the pumpkins that make good eating are soft, not sturdy. And those grown with high, thick walls strong enough to withstand carving into jack-o&rsquo
    Sat Oct 25, 2014
  • New e-bike franchise priced for the commuter BY SUSAN CARPENTER
    The concept is simple: Get people out of their cars and onto electric bicycles. The challenge? E-bikes can be expensive. Models from well-known brands often cost thousands of dollars, preventing would-be cyclists from buying in. But Curbside Commuters hopes to change that. The new electric bicycle franchise is the sole distributor of a l
    Sat Oct 25, 2014
  • Berries get a Halloween costume BY CATHY THOMAS
    I’m a sucker for Halloween treats with candy eyes. Last year I made a ghost cake covered with comical goblins adorned with goggle-y eyes. Laughing for days over the whimsy of that ghost gateau, I was delighted to see the white chocolate-dipped, ghost-themed strawberries created by the folks at Driscoll‘s strawberries. Look for candy
    Sat Oct 25, 2014
  • Michael Keaton soars in impressive 'Birdman' BY JOCELYN NOVECK
    When we first see Michael Keaton in “Birdman,” Alejandro G. Inarritu’s bracingly inventive and accomplished new film about fame, relevance, self-worth and lots of other intense stuff, he’s sitting in his white undies, in the middle of a dressing room. No, really in the middle. Like, in the air. He’s levitati
    Sat Oct 25, 2014
  • Food report: Steak 'n Shake coming, McRib returns, Melting Pot closes BY NANCY LUNA
    Three years after revealing plans to bring Steak ’n Shake to the West Coast, the iconic steak burger chain is finally landing closer to Orange County. Owned by Texas-based Biglari Holdings, Steak ’n Shake will open Tuesday in Santa Monica. This is the second Steak ’n Shake to open in California after a loc
    Fri Oct 24, 2014
  • Tenacious D's Festival Supreme returns to Los Angeles Saturday BY KELLI SKYE FADROSKI
    When actors and musicians Jack Black and Kyle Gass, who together make up comedy rock band Tenacious D, sat down to figure out how to make their second annual Festival Supreme music and comedy festival even “awesomer,” there was certainly no shortage of ideas. “That’s the thing when you’re curating a festival
    Fri Oct 24, 2014
  • Sushi and booze: 4 ways movie theaters are upgrading to land your movie dollars BY HANNAH MADANS
    Martinis, sushi and a movie? Popcorn and soda are a pretty standard pairing for a night at the movies, but theaters around Orange County are upgrading their snacks and services to include cocktails and wine, waiter service and fine food to boost sales in a lackluster market. Several other Orange County theaters have
    Fri Oct 24, 2014
  • Closures ahead this weekend on O.C. freeways BY KELLIE MEJDRICH
    Keep an eye out for closures affecting the 55, I-5 and 241 toll road this weekend. On Friday, Costa Mesa commuters beware: the California Department of Transportation will close the southbound 55 Paularino Avenue off-ramp for landscape work from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday brings a morning closure for Mission Viejo drivers: the nor
    Fri Oct 24, 2014
  • 'Ouija' puts bored in board game movies BY ROGER MOORE
    Universal’s effort to reclaim its place as the Home for Horror takes a step backward with this duller-than-dull 89 minutes of your life you’ll never get back. Frankly, the board game is scarier, but only if you break the rules. “Never play alone. … Never play in a graveyard. … Always say ‘Good-bye.&r
    Fri Oct 24, 2014
  • Grading four new TV mysteries BY KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR
    While I was on the road with the Lakers, I spent much of my travel time reading history books and mysteries. To me, history and mystery books share very similar qualities. They both are filled with villains seeking to exploit others through violence and secret manipulation and heroes determined to discover the truth and vanquish those who stand
    Tue Oct 21, 2014
  • Energy runs high at Hot 92.3's Freestyle Explosion BY RAMON GONZALES
    With an entire evening dedicated to the ’80s equivalent of disco, Hot 92.3’s Super Freestyle Explosion functioned as a variety show of sorts, showcasing the subgenre’s most beloved performers. Largely influenced by the big-band funk of the ’70s and the rhythm-and-blues of the ’60s, freestyle channeled melody
    Tue Oct 21, 2014
  • Gwen Stefani won't return to 'The Voice' BY MICHAEL HEWITT
    It was one in and one out for Orange County last week on “The Voice,” as singer Troy Ritchie from Trabuco Canyon advanced, but we learned that local icon Gwen Stefani would not return as a coach next season. Host Carson Daly announced on “Today” that Christina Aguilera would return for Season 8 to reclaim the seat
    Tue Oct 21, 2014
  • On the heels of Fox's 'Utopia,' here are some of TV's biggest flops BY MICHAEL HEWITT
    Every fall brings failure to a few hopeful new shows, but rarely do they fall as hard as “Utopia.” Fox committed a ton of money to producing the reality series – reportedly $50 million – and spent a lot of time promoting it this past summer, giving it a harder push than any of its other new fall programs.
    Tue Oct 21, 2014
  • Meet the O.C. guy who helps Daenerys cuss in 'Game of Thrones' BY RAYMOND MENDOZA
    David Peterson cannot control dragons. He can’t create Valyrian steel swords, or rule the seven kingdoms of Westeros. But if Peterson wills it, he might be able to command a horde of Dothraki screamers with a phrase like “Shieraki gori ha yeraan!” Literal translation: “The stars are cha
    Mon Oct 20, 2014
  • Open & Shut: Taco Bell heats up K.C. menu with sriracha BY NANCY LUNA AND JOANNA CLAY
    The Kansas City Royals aren’t the only ones on a hot streak in the city. Roughly 70 Taco Bells in the Kansas City market are testing a spicy menu of seven sriracha-laced items, including a scrambled egg breakfast with sriracha cream sauce. Other items – including tacos, beef grillers and a quesarito –feature sriracha se
    Mon Oct 20, 2014
  • Hello Kitty: 40 & Fabulous BY PETER LARSEN
    Hello Kitty turns 40 years old on Nov. 1 and to celebrate that milestone birthday the little girl born in London four decades ago is throwing a bash that’s already begun and won’t wrap up for six months. An exhibit titled “Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty” opened a week ago at the Japanese Ameri
    Sun Oct 19, 2014
  • Disneyland's Haunted Mansion is a house of fancy frights BY LISA LIDDANE
    No one in Orange County decorates a house for Halloween quite like the creative minds behind the Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland. It has been 14 years since the seasonal “Nightmare Before Christmas”- themed overlay was launched at the classic Haunted Mansion, and the ghoulish meets quirky meets elegant design continues to evolv
    Sat Oct 18, 2014
  • Pitt unleashes 'Fury' BY ROGER MOORE
    This bit of heroics isn’t “what I wanted to do,” Brad Pitt’s battle-scarred sergeant, and a hundred movie sergeants before him, growl. “But it’s what we’re doing.” “Fury” is the sort of World War II movie Hollywood used to churn out four or five times a year – a gritty, gr
    Fri Oct 17, 2014
  • Hewitt: CBS, HBO announcements will mean a major change in how we watch TV By MICHAEL HEWITT
    The TV business took a big leap into the future this week, as CBS and HBO announced online subscription services that will allow viewers to bypass cable companies. This will mean more choices for consumers, experts agree. Whether it will save consumers any money remains to be seen. CBS unveiled a $5.99-a-month Internet su
    Fri Oct 17, 2014
  • Video: Boy Scouts want you to take the plunge – from 17 stories up BY DAVID WHITING
    Eighth-grader John-Aaron Bozanic balances atop the concrete barrier surrounding the roof of the Irvine Marriott Hotel, stares down 17 floors and disappears over the edge. Like Batman. It’s Thursday, and on this day I am Robin to Bozanic’s Batman. Together and on separate ropes, we plan to rappel to the concret
    Fri Oct 17, 2014
  • Mission Viejo High graduate advances in 'The Voice' TV show BY TOMOYA SHIMURA
    A 21-year-old Mission Viejo High School graduate advanced to the next round of competition in the seventh season of “The Voice.” Troy Ritchie of Trabuco Canyon beat Menlik Zergabachew in their first match of Battle Rounds in Tuesday’s pre-recorded episode of the NBC reality talent show. Ritchie and Zergabachew,
    Thu Oct 16, 2014
  • Long Beach names park in honor of former Latin music star Jenni Rivera BY KENDRA ABLAZA
    LONG BEACH – A park at Walnut Avenue and 20th Street has been named after Long Beach native and internationally-known Latin music singer Jenni Rivera two years after her death. The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved naming the park after Rivera. The Latin Grammy-nominated singer and actress was known widely for he
    Thu Oct 16, 2014